Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced that, effective immediately, it is merging its Polaris sales (this announcement has no impact on the Indian and Victory Motorcycles sales force), sales operations, service, corporate marketing and interactive team into a unified global customer excellence team led by Tim Larson, vice president of Global Customer Excellence. The company also announced that Bill Fisher, vice president and chief information officer, will retire from Polaris at the end of 2014, necessitating leadership transitions within the company’s Information Services organization.
These leadership changes are consistent with Polaris’ talent and succession plans that are designed to support the company’s growth goals and long-term strategy. Following Larson’s hiring in August 2013, a thorough evaluation of Polaris’ channels and customer-facing initiatives led to the decision to create a consolidated Global Customer Excellence unit. By unifying all Polaris sales, marketing and interactive operations under his leadership, the company is better able to provide more seamless experiences for customers and dealers, thereby driving greater satisfaction, sales and sustainable growth.
“By combining Tim’s extensive background in delivering industry-leading customer experiences with our dynamic, innovative leaders, we have created a unified team capable of delivering the premium end-to-end experience our customers expect,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO.
This sales and marketing consolidation frees Mike Jonikas from those responsibilities, allowing him to focus his efforts on growing Polaris’ Snowmobile business unit and launching the company’s Slingshot product line, debuting in 2014. Jonikas will assume the title of vice president, Snow and Slingshot.
Concurrent to these organizational changes, Polaris began the succession strategy for Fisher January 1, when Matt Emmerich assumed the role as CIO. As CIO, Emmerich will report to President and Chief Operating Officer Bennett Morgan and be responsible for all IT-related operational and infrastructure support activities across the global enterprise.
Fisher will work through 2014 supporting the transition within the Information Services organization. He will also continue to spearhead the Interactive and Rider X Initiatives in 2014, while serving as integration leader for the recent Primordial acquisition. He has served as vice president and Chief Information Officer since November 2007, and has been CIO since July 1999. Fisher has also served as General Manager of Service overseeing all technical, dealer, and consumer service operations since 2005.
He has played a critical role in helping to build the information services infrastructure that has helped contribute to Polaris’ growth during the last decade.
Emmerich has been with Polaris since 2004. He started his career at Polaris as a project manager and quickly assumed greater responsibilities, including his most recent role as director of applications. In the last 10 years, he has contributed to major information services initiatives related to key acquisitions, facility expansions and infrastructure development.